Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mr. Nice Guy's Summer Safety Tips for Your Backyard BBQ

With summer in full swing, so begins the season of backyard BBQs. It’s vital that having a great time go hand in hand with having a safe time. There are many commonly considered – and not-so-obvious – dangers hosts and guests alike should be mindful of to avoid spoiling the party.

Follow Mr. Nice Guy's tips to prevent backyard BBQ hazards:

· Before the guests arrive, it is important to make the entire home and yard party safe. Please consider the following precautionary measures:

· Pay attention to hazards on the property that could take a visitor by surprise, such as a hole in the ground or steep steps.

· Erect barriers and/or warn people about any hazard to avoid.

· Take special care of items on the property that may attract children, such as a swimming pool, trampoline, or swing-set; reinforce to guests that children must be accompanied by an adult in order to enjoy the fun.


According to the United States Fire Administration’s (USFA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in 2003-2006 U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 7,900 home fires involving grills per year. These fires caused 120 injuries and $80 million in direct property damage.
Here are a few safety tips for grilling:

· Check grill for safety hazards. Gas connections should be checked for leaks by applying a soapy water solution as bubbles will form if gas is escaping. Damaged or corroded gas tanks should be replaced and not used.

· Be careful when lighting grill. Only use charcoal lighter fluid to light charcoal. Do not use gasoline, kerosene or any other flammable or combustible liquid. In addition, the lighter fluid should be used before lighting the charcoal – not while it is burning.

· Don’t leave a burning grill unattended. If the grill is on, don’t turn your back. Small children and pets should also be kept away from the grilling area.

· Turn off the gas when not using the grill. After every use, shut off the gas and store it in an outdoor location away from where children play, out of direct sunlight and at least five feet from any building openings at or below the level of the propane tank.


According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), about 260 children under the age of five drown in swimming pools each year. More than 100 of the victims drown in other household products such as bathtubs, spas, buckets and man-made landscape ponds.

To help keep pools safe, many local government agencies require the pool to be fenced with a latching gate. In addition to the fences, pool owners should also consider creating as many additional barriers as possible – such as door alarms, locks and safety covers – to make it difficult for a child to get into the pool area when not in use.

CPSC offers these additional tips to help prevent drowning deaths:

· Since every second counts, always look for a missing child in the pool first.

· Don’t leave toys and floats in the pool that can attract young children.

· Secure ladders on above-ground and inflatable pools when not in use.

· Even if children can swim, it doesn’t make them drown-proof. Always supervise children.

· Even in inflatable pools, infants and toddlers should always be within touching distance. These pools generally contain about 30 gallons of water.

· When an inflatable pool is not in use, drain the water and deflate the pool.

· Follow the layers of protection (i.e. barriers and fences) rule with large inflatable pools.

· Know CPR. Be prepared to rescue a child with life saving techniques if necessary.

Trampoline injuries have been on the rise for more than a decade now. The CPSC estimates that more than 100,000 injuries associated with trampolines – 88 percent of which involved children under the age of 18 - occurred in 2008.

Here are the steps you can take to help prevent serious trampoline injuries:

· Allow only one person on the trampoline at a time.

· Due to risk of paralysis, do not attempt or allow somersaults.

· Ensure spring, hooks and frame is completely covered with shock-absorbing pads.

· Place the trampoline away from structures, trees, and other play areas.

· No child under 6 years of age should use a full-size trampoline. Do not use a ladder with the trampoline because it provides unsupervised access by small children.

· Always supervise children who use a trampoline.

· Trampoline enclosures can help prevent injuries from falls off trampolines.

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